Back-to-school record breaker?

Back-to-school record breaker?

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Next week kids across the area will be boarding buses and heading back into the classroom. That means parents are shelling out big bucks for the new school year.

Virginia Entenza is looking forward to her daughter heading back to class, but she’s now faced with the daunting task of shopping for back-to-school supplies.

“Mostly binders, paper, composition books, pens, and markers,” said Entenza, as she read her list out loud.

As students get ready, parents are preparing their wallets. According to the National Retail Federation, families with children in kindergarten through 12th grade will spend, on average, $697 this year.

“If not more, with three kids it’s out there," Entenza said. "You spend a lot of money and it just hits the pocket.”

Clothing and accessories top the costly list, as well as electronics.

“To me, it’s crazy because it is avoidable. It doesn’t have to be that much, you have to put a limit,” said Stefanie Mendez, who has two children.

Mendez was buying last-minute supplies Thursday, but she set a budget.

“We’re averaging $150 a kid for right now, that’s probably the cap of what I’m willing to spend,” Mendez said.

The survey also says basic supplies such as notebooks, pencils, and backpacks will average about $117.

Entenza says the cost each year is unavoidable, but she does have a strategy.

“Try to find the least expensive item, not brand names, and go for the cheaper stuff,” said Entenza, who has a college student, a child in high school and middle school student.

Experts say to help cut down on the high cost of supplies, check your house first and use items you may have leftover from last year. Also, know your prices, shop multiple stores for the best bargains, keep an eye out for deep discounts and take advantage of sales tax holidays.

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